News round-up: Construction and design


Dialysis centre in Wales receives funding

WELSH Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has announced funding of £2.8m for a purpose-built facility providing dialysis services to kidney patients in North Powys. The new 12-station, eco-friendly unit will be built in the grounds of the Victoria Memorial Hospital in Welshpool, and Powys Local Health Board, working with the Welsh Renal Clinical Network, aims to treat its first patients in Autumn 2012. Griffiths said: “The temporary unit at the Victoria Memorial Hospital is making a huge difference to the lives of many kidney patients across North Powys. It has saved many patients needing dialysis from regular and sometimes lengthy journeys beyond Powys for their treatment. The development of a purpose-built unit can now begin, giving those patients a permanent base for treatment. It also means a long-term alleviation of the pressure put on hospitals such as the Royal Shrewsbury, which took patients from the area before dialysis was available locally.” Mel Evans, chairman of Powys Teaching Local Health Board, added: “I am delighted that the business case for a permanent facility in North Powys has been approved. Powys renal patients are already benefiting enormously from the provision of a local service from the temporary facility and I know they will be very pleased to hear that their local access has been secured in the long term.”

Welsh hospital scheme first to get top green rating

News round-up: Construction and design

A £13m healthcare construction project has become the first in Wales to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for sustainable development. Constructed by the Leadbitter Group, the medical facility is part of the regeneration of Loudoun Square in Cardiff and features a biomass boiler to provide heat and power, water harvesting technology, a water leak detection system and water efficient sanitaryware. Once completed in 2013, it will sit alongside 62 new affordable homes, a community hub and retail units. The building was designed by architectural firm, Austin-Smith:Lord as part of a partnership project involving Cardiff Community Housing Association, Cardiff Council and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Health board chief executive, Jan Williams, said: “We are committed to providing excellent, sustainable services for patients in modern, specially-designed facilities. This project embodies those values and the health board is delighted to be the first in Wales to win such a prestigious rating.” Russell Houghton, regional director of Leadbitter’s western housing division, added: “The specialist equipment that is required in a healthcare facility often needs a great deal of energy, making it even more challenging to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating. This is truly and outstanding accomplishment and is testament to the commitment and dedication to sustainability of everyone involved.”

Walsall Manor Hospital gets a facelift

A 12-WEEK refurbishment scheme has been completed at the inpatient centre at Walsall Manor Hospital, providing a brighter, more welcoming look for patients, staff and visitors. Better lighting, newly-painted walls, new flooring, refurbished doors and redecorated stairwells and communal areas have helped to improve the appearance of the former West Wing. It also means the 22-year-old building is now more in keeping with the new hospital development it is now connected too. The work was phased over the three months to minimise impact and focused on the main hospital ‘street’ on two levels and the smaller corridors leading to ward areas. Lincoln Dawkin, interim commercial director at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The response to the new look has been very positive. The Manor is one integrated hospital, but there was a difference when walking between the new development and the older building. The brighter look, from enhanced lighting to wall colours, has carried over the feel of the new facilities into the inpatient centre and provided a more welcoming environment.” The work was carried out in conjunction with Skanska, which built the £170m new hospital. Further work to improve the patient environment in the ward areas is also planned. Lincoln said: “Some people feel a little apprehensive about going into hospital for treatment so we are keen to do what we can do to make the experience a good one. It is part of our commitment to provide quality healthcare for the community and offer the best facilities we can.”

Go-ahead for new hospital in Altrincham

ALTRINCHAM'S new hospital is one step closer to becoming a reality after regional health chiefs gave the go-ahead for the preparation of legal documents appointing a developer. Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust wants to replace Altrincham General Hospital - a Victorian building in poor condition and with limited disabled access - with a bright, modern facility better suited to 21st century health needs. Now two bidders have been shortlisted: Citybranch, which would develop it on Railway Street; and Nikal Community Solutions, which would build it as part of the Altair development on land behind the transport interchange. The news comes after the trust’s business case was approved in principle by NHS North West, subject to further work on value for money. Now the board of NHS North West has given the trust permission to draft a legal letter inviting its preferred bidder to proceed to the last stage of the procurement process and begin work on the final designs and plans for the new hospital. Ron Calvert, chief executive of Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are pleased NHS North West has given us the go-ahead to prepare this draft legal letter. It brings us another step closer to full approval of the business case for the new hospital and is therefore very good news for our patients, staff, and partner organisations.”

Work begins on MRI suite in Norfolk

WORK has started to build a £3m MRI scanner suite at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn. The new facility will occupy an inner courtyard between the radiology department and the pharmacy and will be overlooked by the staff restaurant. Part single-storey, part two-storey, the building will be made of a steel frame with composite cladding panels - a method that avoids the need for deep foundations. Another feature will be a ‘green roof’, planted with colourful flowering sedum rather than traditional materials. The building is due to be completed in the New Year.


Work is underway to improve the A and E department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in south London. The first phase of the building works includes extending the resuscitation area from three beds to five and building new minor and major injuries areas with increased capacity.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

A cable management solution from Marshall-Tufflex is being used in the development of a new community hospital, health clinic and civic centre in Selby, north Yorkshire. The Twin Plus system is being deployed as part of the £22m Selby Community Project, which is a joint venture between NHS North Yorkshire and York and Selby District Council. The healthcare developments will use the antimicrobial trunking, which helps to fight bugs such as MRSA.